Planning to Persevere

6, 7, 8

Each student sets an individual goal using a goal-setting strategy. The class reflects on perseverance and how to persevere when the plan gets difficult to carry out.

Lesson Rating 
PrintOne 20-minute Class Period

The learner will:

  • use the GPAR strategy to set a goal.
  • reflect on the goal-setting process.
  • student journals
  • student copies of Attachment One: GPAR Planning


  1. Anticipatory Set: Review the short-term and long-term goals on the charts in the previous lesson. Guide the learners to select two to four long-term goals that mostof themfeel are valuable. Star these goals.

  2. Tell the students that they can accomplish what they set their minds to if they commit to persevere [stick with it]. These goals may be the focus of later class discussions.

  3. Have the studentseach select one goal (from the charts or their own ideas) and write it in their journals. Give the students a few minutes to make a decision.

  4. Write the following letters in capitals vertically on the board: GPAR. Then write the following words by the appropriate letters: Goal (outcome or ideal situation), Plan (what you need to arrive at the goal), Action (specific steps needed to arrive at the goal), Results (What results do you expect to see?).Tell the students that this is a strategy for setting and sticking with goals.

  5. Take the students through an example of using the GPAR strategy with a short-term goal. For example, you practice perseverance when you study for a difficult test. The Goal is to get an A on the test next Monday. The Plan is to study for seven hours. The Action: I will study with Josh for an hour on Monday after school. I will get up an hour early on Tuesday and write note cards. On Tuesday evening, my mom will quiz me for a half-hour on the cards. On Wednesday, I will study the text book and review the cards for an hour after school. On Thursday, my sister will give me the answers on the cards and I have to come up with the questions. On Saturday afternoon, I will practice matching terms and definitions for an hour. On Sunday, I will read through all of my notes. On Monday morning, I will review anything that I feel a little unsure about. The intended Results are that I will feel ready on Monday morning and get an A on the test.

  6. Give the students ten minutes to write their strategies in their journals using the GPAR format. Or,they may write their planning onAttachment One: GPAR Planning.

  7. When the time is up, spend a few minutes on whole-group reflection. Ask, "Is it okay to adjust the plans as you carry them out?" and "How does a wish differ from a goal?" and "What will you do if the plans become difficult to carry out?"

Cross Curriculum 

This character education mini-lesson is not intended to be a service learning lesson or to meet the K-12 Service-Learning Standards for Quality Practice. The character education units will be most effective when taught in conjunction with a student-designed service project that provides a real world setting in which students can develop and practice good character and leadership skills. For ideas and suggestions for organizing service events go to


Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Describe the characteristics of someone who helps others.
    2. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Describe the importance of hearing all voices in a community and respecting their right to be heard.
      2. Benchmark MS.3 Give an example of how philanthropy can transcend cultures.
  2. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.3 Identify and give examples of stewardship in cultural traditions around the world.
      2. Benchmark MS.4 Identify and describe the actions of how citizens act for the common good.
      3. Benchmark MS.5 Describe the responsibility students have to act in the civil society sector to improve the common good.